Here’s a letter to the editor I submitted to the Tulsa Community College student newspaper, The TCC Connection:

Dear editor,

I am writing in response to the Sept. 13th issue’s series of articles “One Bad Scene.”

I thought this was a college newspaper, but instead what I see is something that would have made a great ABC after school special back in the 80’s.

Let’s see, you have the cautionary tale by Kyle S. Steenveld about the TCC student busted for dealing marijuana (with little question of the real tragedy, that this student is facing these harsh consequences not because of drugs but because of drug laws), the sidebar by Jennie Lloyd about the dangers of drugs (without any sense of balance to discuss the health benefits of the moderate consumption of alcohol and marijuana), or the preachy “stories” by Ralena Pinson-Gantz and Toni Hill about the dangers of inhalants and tobacco.

Come on folks, you can do better than this. Instead of being a propaganda tool for the modern police-state, instead why don’t you answer the real questions…

1. Why is marijuana illegal?

2. What possible justification is there for the barring of federal financial aid to students who are busted for drug “crimes”?

3. Why have Americans allowed the Bill of Right’s 4th Amendment to be trashed in the drug war?

4. Why is it that over 70% of those incarcerated for drug “crimes” are Black or Hispanic? (see )

The truth is that the real danger we face is not drugs, but drug laws. If students want to join the fight to end oppression and restore freedom, I would encourage folks to contact the Oklahoma Drug Policy Forum ( Students for a Sensible Drug Policy (

James M. Branum
TCC Distance Learning student (Religious Studies major)